If you were to work on developing one key leadership skill, which do you think would be most important? It may surprise you to find out that it is not related to giving presentations, learning to overcome objections, or closing the sale. One of the most important leadership skill you can possess is the ability to listen. You may be familiar with the term active listening. In human service professions, it is considered a basic skill in helping people to find solutions to their problems. So why is the ability to listen so important in the Network Marketing Field? It may seem obvious, but the reality is this how we truly learn about prospects and customers. If we are truly focused on providing solutions and value to others, we need to really understand our prospects’ challenges and problems they are facing. This article will review suggestions and important concepts related to effective listening skills.
Undivided Attention If you are on the telephone or meeting face to face, please give your undivided attention. People can tell if you are listening or focusing on something else, even over the telephone. Have you talked with someone on the telephone who was reading their email or surfing the net? You could tell that they were not really present when you were talking with them. You could easily sense that they were only listening to bits and pieces of the conversation. Give the person the respect they deserve. If you cannot give the person your undivided attention, it is better to reschedule your time with that person and let them know you want to be able to really focus on what they are trying to say.
Focus When listening to your prospect, your focus should be on finding solutions to their challenges they are facing. If you really listen to what they have to say, you may discover that your business opportunity may not be the solution. You will need to respect this and honor this discovery. There may be other ways you can provide value and solutions, but it may not necessarily lead to income generation or building your down line. You will find though, it will pay off in the long run. You will have come from a place of integrity and honesty. That person may refer you to others and most of all, you will have developed a positive relationship.
Focus also means to give your attention to what the person is saying. Listen to what they are trying to tell you, listen to their feelings and their intent. People are often motivated to change when they are dissatisfied with something in their life. There are usually feelings and emotions attached to their situations. This may be obvious, but think about how often we briefly listen to what someone is saying and immediately start to think about what we are going to say next. Think about how much valuable information you missed out on! Remove the pressure of believing you need to have an immediate answer. You don’t. You and/or your business opportunity are not responsible for for fixing the problem. Quite frankly, your prospect does not want you telling them what to do! It is okay to pause a moment if needed.
No Judgments When listening to others resist the urge to formulate judgments or opinions. To often we listen to bits and pieces of what someone is trying to say and form our own opinions of what this person should do. Unfortunately, you end up missing out on a great deal of important information. Also, if you are two quick to provide a “solution” to what you think the problem is, that person will feel like you have not been listening. Have you ever been in a situation where you were telling someone about a challenge and they immediately chimed in on what they think you should do? I bet you did not feel like they were truly listening.
Clarify Paraphrase or reflect back to the person what they were saying in your own words. Seek to understand what they are saying. This not only shows that you are listening, but also that you genuinely are interested in understanding what that person has to say. This provides you an opportunity for greater clarity.
If your goals is to become an effective leader in the Network Marketing Industry, take the time to develop your listening skills. You will be surprised at how this can positively affect your business. You will feel good about the relationships you developed. People want to work with leaders who will listen and give respect.